We spent day after day travelling into the mangroves, on large motorized boats and small canoes, from the larger estuary to the small covered channels. We went crab hunting with Nahun, net fishing Jorge and we met women and children sitting on the mangrove roots waiting for their baited traps to trigger. On a normal day, most of the community would be out in the forest, it’s their life, it’s their environment, it’s their security.

Some of the older members of the community talked about much larger changes taking place, some talked about the sea taking hundreds of meters of forest, others about the pollution coming from industrial discharge along the Lempa river. Federico who thought he was about 75 remembers a time as a child when people from the village would literally just have to dip their hand in the water to catch the shrimps and the fish, now he says it takes a lot of time and effort if you want to feed the family. Jorge blames this on the pollution coming in from up river, he says that toxins are being dumped by big industry in Guatemala and this is slowly killing many of the species in the mangroves.

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